Sports Betting: How Does It Differ Around The World?


Sports and betting on them are popular all over the world, but it varies from region to region, depending on which sports are most watched and played. As well as the preferences of the population, sports betting can also differ because of rules put in place to regulate gambling in a country.


Sports betting differs greatly across Asia, with some countries like Thailand imposing heavy restrictions on the activity and others, such as Singapore or Macau, becoming known as gambling havens in recent years.

There are other countries in Asia that allow for some forms of sports betting and not others. Japan, for example, allows gambling on horse racing and pachinko but not on lots of other types of sports. Lots of Japanese favorite bookmakers are based overseas, and as such, they also allow users to place wagers on popular domestic sports like martial arts and soccer.


Without a doubt, the most popular sport to bet on across the continent of Africa is soccer. As well as gambling on domestic soccer leagues, lots of African countries follow international tournaments like the Premier League or the World Cup.


Similarly to other regions of the world, some parts of Africa, such as South Africa and Zimbabwe, also like to bet on horse racing. However, online betting in South Africa is quite heavily regulated, with only certain sports being legal to bet on.

North America

The rules in North America, specifically the United States, differ from state to state. Some regions have very strict restrictions and do not allow sports betting of any kind, whilst others are much freer and allow both retail and online sportsbooks to operate.

Some of the most well-known states for sports betting include Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, New York, and Nevada. For states like Texas or California, where the practice has not yet been legalized, the options for residents are to use offshore sportsbooks or travel to neighboring states to bet on their favorite sports!

There is a huge variety of popular games and leagues that Americans (and people all over the world!) gamble on, like the MLB, the NBA, and the NFL.


Although each country in Europe has its own specific rules, sports betting is more or less legal across the board. There are a couple of exceptions to this, like Norway or Poland, where regulations on the practice are much more restricted.

One of the major players in the sports betting market in Europe is the United Kingdom. There are countless online and retail sportsbooks in the country, and there is a booming culture surrounding watching sports and supporting different teams.


The most watched and played sport in Europe is football, unsurprisingly, but there are many other close runner-ups, like rugby, cricket, tennis, Formula 1, and boxing.


Similarly to the United Kingdom, Australia has a diverse sports betting market, with the industry being well regulated by the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) and full of licensed operators. There are both offline and online options for citizens, with virtually every type of sport available to bet on. Like lots of other regions across the globe, the most popular sport to bet on in Australia is football, with over 1.8 million adults participating in the sport annually, closely followed by rugby and horse racing.


The growth of retail and online sportsbooks has tipped gambling as we know it on its head and made betting easier and more accessible than ever to many. There are some countries that are embracing this change, whilst others still have limitations on how their population can place wagers on their favorite sports.

However, it seems that the consensus on sports betting is changing all around the world as more and more governments are beginning to see the potential financial benefits of allowing the practice.


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